Ryse: Son of Rome is a brand new IP from the creators of the Crysis franchise that is exclusive to Xbox One.
It’s refreshing to see a next-generation title that focuses on visceral and violent combat that Roman soldiers were known for back in the day. If you’re a fan of Spartans, the movie 300 or just enjoy watching brutal combat, then Ryse: Son of Rome will be right up your alley on the day that Xbox One arrives.
I have managed to get hands-on on Ryse: Son of Rome at this year’s E3 last week and my playtime with the game has left me with satisfied impressions and more thirst for spilling barbarian blood.
The Gameplay Design and Combat and Feel
Ryse: Son of Rome main goal is to make the player feel they’re playing as a powerful roman commander who’s at war against the barbarians. Whether the game is based on true battles or not I am not sure, but I am sure that Crytek has done a fabulous job at demonstrating how Roman soldiers were fighting back in the day and how violent and merciless the combat was. The game aims to be a cinematic Roman/Spartan experience that puts the player in the middle of the battlefield. Thanks to the beautiful visuals and an interesting combat system Crytek has delivered thus far a good Roman/Spartan experience.
When I attended Microsoft’s press conference this year at E3 and saw Ryse: Son of Rome for the first time, the game impressed me with its visual quality and interesting combat mechanics. Meanwhile, I was not happy with the repeated ‘Quick Time Events’ and ended up predicting that the combat eventually would become repetitious and boring. However, my opinion of the ‘Quick Time Events’ changed after finally managing to get my hands-on Ryse: Son of Rome.
Ryse’s combat system is well-designed from what I have played and is a ton of fun once you truly master it. However, I found out that you don’t actually have to hit the proper buttons for the ‘Quick Time Events’ and you can still get past enemies and not get a penalty for it. This ended up disappointing me at first, but I found out later that the harder difficulty setting allows actually removes the button icons from the enemies when it’s time for a ‘Quick Time Event’. Instead, the player must rely on combat animations to know which buttons to press at what time.
In Ryse: Son of Rome each button is mapped to a different combat move-set. One of the buttons controls the sword, another button lets you do a shield bash, and the third button lets you block with a shield that can also act as a counter with a kick. Combat in Ryse feels polished and easy to pull but most importantly it’s a lot of fun.
The game becomes more challenging when you’re faced with two or more enemies at once, this is where the player must have good muscle memory and quick reaction time to know which button to press when going against multiple barbarians. It’s 100% possible for a skilled player to never get hit once and perform beautiful chain of attacks across multiple enemies and end up pulling off violent executions with the ‘Quick Time Events’. If you have ever seen the movie 300, then Ryse would be a precise example of how the combat is if you’ve ever watched any of the fighting scenes from that movie.
As I spent more time with Ryse I ended up appreciating the game a lot more and the constant ‘Quick Time Events’ became a thing of the past, especially after finding out that they disappear when your’e on a higher difficulty setting and force to use your combat skills to know when to press what button.
Overall, Ryse: Son of Rome seemed like a solid action launch title that I am looking forward to reviewing when the Xbox One launches later this year sometime in November. As of now, I was left happy, and I believe that if you’re looking for an enjoyable next-generation action title then Ryse: Son of Rome would be a great choice as of now, but that opinion may or may not change after the game releases.